depressed teen holding her head

Many drugs are capable of causing physiological dependence, so that when a person quits taking the medicine he immediately experiences side effects. In many cases, these reactions may be similar to the original problem for which a person might have been given the prescription in the first place.

This can lead the patient or the physician to conclude that the original condition is still a serious problem, but this is not necessarily the case. The symptoms could be due to a rebound phenomenon. This reader has had a really difficult time withdrawing from Lyrica because of the rebound effect. Stopping Lyrica suddenly can trigger a range of miserable reactions, as we have described here.

Q. I have Lyme disease that was originally misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. I was put on Lyrica to help with the constant pain.

For a while I thought it was working because if I accidentally skipped a dose I felt like I was dying. The awful pain, tremors, nausea and migraines I got when I didn’t take Lyrica were really a sign that I was totally dependent on it.

I’m now working to slowly wean myself off. That will take a long time because I’m on a high dose. I’m relieved to know that the depression, irritability and restless legs I’m experiencing is just my body coming down from the Lyrica.

Stopping Lyrica Suddenly

A. Pregabalin (Lyrica) has a reputation as a safe and well-tolerated treatment for nerve pain (neuropathy) and fibromyalgia. But readers have reported side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, confusion or brain fog, dry mouth and weight gain.

Stopping Lyrica suddenly can trigger symptoms such as insomnia, headache, anxiety, nausea, excessive sweating and diarrhea. The official prescribing information specifies gradual tapering over at least a week. Some people may require a much slower withdrawal process.

We are sorry that your misdiagnosis meant you took a medicine that was not helpful for your condition-and didn’t get the antibiotic that could help. To learn more about what a Lyme disease misdiagnosis can mean, you may want to listen to our interview with Dr. Neil Spector, author of Gone in a Heartbeat.


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  1. Jeaneen

    Been on Lyrica for 3 years for neuropathy related to shingles. Trying to reduce my dose from 400 mg daily to 350 mg daily. It’s been 10 days, and I am experiencing nausea,body ache and terrible night sweats. Have begun to think that the side effects of this drug are not worth pain relief benefit.

  2. Judy

    I am currently tapering Lyrica from 225 mg daily to 200 mg. It has been almost a month. I have been on Lyrica for 15 months. Suffer from severe chest and spinal pain from a rare condition. The nerve pain has returned with a vengeance but I am determined to taper to 150 mg daily. The brain grog, lack of concentration, drowsiness etc was ruining my life. Withdrawal has been a nightmare.

  3. Jill

    I’ve been on lyrica for years for seizure control. But, 10 days ago, I was about to need a refill. Turned into a total mess because a NP prescribed it, but under a Drs supervision. Shouldn’t have been an issue, but I was calling both the pharmacy and the Drs office daily, and finally today I just went in, got a RX, and got it filled. I have been feeling so sick for those 10 days; shakes, diarrhea, severe anxiety, insomnia. It took me a bit to realize it was withdrawal. Id like to eventually wean off of it, but don’t look forward to being this sick!

  4. Karen
    Hedgesville, WV

    I was only taking 50mg Lyrica for one week, then increased to 100mg for second week, with goal of 150mg by third week. I had reaction to it in second week. Shortness of breath and tremors. I stopped taking it immediately and contacted my doctor’s office about it. They told me they were not surprised and that often patients end up having problems with it.

    So here I am only one week after stopping and have shakiness all over, shortness of breath, heightened anxiety (I have PTSD so this made it worse), restless, hard time falling and staying asleep, and nausea. All this from only being on this crap for 11 days!

    This truly sucks!

  5. Dean

    I’ve been on pregabalin 150mg for 4 years now. I don’t have any illness, I just take t for the high. On average, I take 7-10 pills at once. I also smoke weed with it. Sure feels good and gives you the energy. However, to lower my tolerance I would stop for a day (longest days ever).

    Without weed, it’s impossible to sleep. I usually open the capsules and fill up a cup with the powder which gets mixed with water and then bottoms up. By the way, for every 10 strips (1 strip has 10 caps) I buy, I get one strip for free :).

    I once had 10 caps, a lot of weed, and alcohol. I blacked out and my whole body started to spasm(?). That one was scary. I stopped for a day and then started my same routine.

    I want to know how this will effect my health. Let me know.

    • Aaron

      Be VERY wary of this man, I can’t say for sure but I feel like lyrica has something to do with what I’m going through. I’m 22 and have used lyrica recreationally on a virtually daily level for about 2 years. I now am having symptoms like stomach pain, anxiety and depression, no appetite whatsoever, and now symptoms that seem like muscular dystrophy. All of the symptoms prior to the muscle wasting (like literally entire muscle groups disappearing), would ease up upon lyrica dosing.
      Just be warned man, I’ve been to many doctors that say lyrica doesn’t do this shit, but a lot of doctors also seem to have no idea that a drug like this could even be so easily abused. Especially when everyone I’ve ever given it to have reacted like I’ve just opened their eyes to some new drug. If you can’t see shit that obvious, then maybe complex ramifications are just way out of reach. A lot of em still don’t agree lyrica can even cause debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

      So mate, the point is IF lyrica does start affecting your health in some way. Don’t expect it to be picked up by doctors before it’s too late.

  6. Jake
    Greater London

    This is the most horrible substance I have ever come across. I only took it for a week and it gave me extreme withdrawal effects that lasted around a month! I have experienced cold-turkey from opioids and a rapid taper from benzos, but neither was a bad as coming off Lyrica.

    I was awake for 5 days (not even a moment of sleep), shaking, vomiting, paranoid, confused, boiling hot but shivering and covered in goose-pimples at the same time… this feeling of utter terror that I cannot even describe. I really thought my brain had been damaged beyond all repair. I could not believe just a week of taking this shit did this to me.

    Thankfully things improved pretty fast, but it took a month for me to be able to sleep properly again and not feel anxious. Please do not start taking this drug, if you are on it then taper off. I would have tapered but I had been on it such a tiny amount of time that I just stopped. I can’t believe doctors are prescribing this poison to people who are already suffering pain and anxiety, they must have been duped by the pharma-sponsored studies.

  7. Hope

    I’ve been out of my Lyrica for about a week and the doc and Pharmacist can’t seem to communicate to get my prescription filled. I have gone to the CVS twice to pick it up and it still wasn’t there. I called today and told the doctor’s office I would pick up an old fashion written script to take the pharmacy that way I knew they would get it.

    The withdraws I’ve had have been horrible nausea, headache, dizziness, tingling in my hands and feet, feeling very shaking, breaking out in a sweat, I just feel absolutely horrible and only want to curl up in a ball and not move but I have a daughter and I have to get up and adult!!! I’ve gone a week without the medication and will pick up the script today from the doctor office.

    My only concern is should I go ahead and push through and do without it since it’s already been a week. I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia so I know I need something to help me but after reading all of these comments I just don’t know about the lyrica yet I’m desperate to stop feeling like crud right now.

    • notpainfree

      Getting real, legit prescriptions at CVS can be a nightmare. And Lyrica will give you withdrawal symptom just for missing a dose or two!!

      CVS left a message on my phone not long ago saying the person that ordered their medicine was on vacation and they would be out until that person returned.

  8. Catherine H.

    Because I ran out of Lyrica and don’t have the money to get another prescription, I am suffering all the withdrawals listed. It is a nightmare! I want to sleep but I can’t get comfortable! Every nerve in my body is in overdrive! Lord help me! Don’t get prescribed this medication. It is evil!

  9. Cindy

    Lyrica has been a life saver for me w/torn rotaror cuffs (severe in both arms). I had taken opioid meds for years and stopped them. All they did was make me high. Lyrica takes the nerve pain away so much better.

    Yes, high doses of any pain med (even advil) can cause our brains to play tricks w/us. Know your body, slowly reduce meds over time, and it’s fine. Maybe not great but certainly tolerable. Drink plenty of fluids. I have NO insurance so I’m taking to on-again, off-again (or its drugs in ER which I do not want) If I can do it, anyone can.

    If you have a chronic health issue that can’t be fixed, why not take a med that will help you?? Lyrica is better for you then opioids. Docs just don’t know enough about long-term. It’s worth a chat w your doc if you are really concerned.

  10. Tricia
    South Yorkshire

    Tapering off in just a week seems much too fast – if you have been on a higher dose or been on this drug for more than a few weeks please take it very slowly. Research shows the discontinuation symptoms are more than just a little discomfort for many people.

  11. Kathy

    I have been talking lyrica for Guillaume Barre Syndrome. Just recently my doctor increased my dose to 450 mg a day. I have gained 15 pounds and am scared to death. I want off this medication. I don’t have my next appointment until June 21. I don’t want to wait that long to get off of it. I have read about the withdrawal effects and that really scared me. I’m thinking I will take only at night for a couple weeks and then just stop. Wish me luck!

  12. Sherri

    Hi, everyone. Please don’t start this drug! If you’re going to stop, do it gradually.
    I did it cold turkey. The side effects of taking Lyrica were: weight gain, drunk feeling, headaches, spasm, dry mouth and eyes, memory loss, unable to sleep, loss interest in sex, nausea, etc.
    But coming off it is hell! The worst symptoms are: shaky, anxiety, panic, and weird creepy crawling feeling, BRAIN ZAPS!

    I was on LYRICA 75MG UP TO 300 MG a day for nerve pain. I think I’ll talk to an attorney if symptoms continue.

    • George

      Hi there I was taking them myself 600mg a day and due to moving into a nee area my doctors told me I need to get a new go its been almost 2wks without them and I’m in pain everywhere like I’m on fire its been apart of my life for a very long time I wear a splint and lost feeling in my lower leg just below my knee on my left leg pluss many years ago I broke my radio head it the joint were my elbow is on my right arm i have intensive nerve damage there to as to I have now found numbness on my lower back and bottom so sitting down is very difficult so its not my choice to stop this drug its due to waiting on a new GP the pre gabapentin worked wonders for myself now I cant walk get from a to b can’t even use the toilet with crying with pain I feel totally let down by NHS in Scotland I’m going through terrible withdrawals and in the past I’ve self harmed and try’s several times to vomit suicide I get quitapine for that but due to no doc I cant get meds I feel really bad can’t control my emotions thinking pattern is all over the place I begged my GP Zto help me but due to mu past misuse of illegal drugs he told me I had one minute to get out his office or he would phone the police now this was me seeking help beforehand so I no what pain is like I feel it every single day even when taking my meds but was refused any help so I no first handed what its like and anything anyone can up with I give it a go now I’m trying CBD e liquid and oil its helping a little but and bonus being there’s no nicotine so I’m giving up tobacco although I’m adding a little bit of e liquid containing nicotine its been a life saver

  13. Mary

    I take 300mg Lyrica AnD have weight gain and still get nerve pain in one leg. I took gabepentin before that. My eyes get blurry. I would like to get off the Lyrica.

  14. Daren
    Calgary, Alberta

    I feel terrible hearing all your stories here about the withdrawl from Lyrica. I have been on 600mg/for only 6 weeks due to 2 herniated discs and was operated on to relieve the pressure. Truth is, the Lyrica really didn’t even touch the pain. It just made me feel dopey. Because of my addiction issues I wanted off this drug quickly.

    After my doctor visit yesterday I told him I wanted to stop all my meds including Tramadol. He didn’t even warm me about side Effects!

    As I type this I feel anxious. The shivers have stopped for now, as have the sweating in my feet and hands. I’ve been on a roller coaster of anxiety and nausea along with some suicidal thoughts.

    What I’m trying to say is I believe the worst is behind me. I have to believe it because I feel I’ll go crazy.

    I would strongly recommend anyone trying to stop does so with the help of some type of mood stabilizer. I’m just not sure which one.

    My doctor doesn’t have a clue. He didn’t even try to recommend that I stop cold turkey. Please have some type of help, and start a gradual withdrawl as you progress off this powerful drug.

    Good luck to all of you. It’s not easy. It feels like it will last forever but it won’t!!

  15. Steph

    I’ve been on Lyrica for six years now for my fibromyalgia. I’ve been taking 600mg a day for the last two years. (300mg twice a day) I have gained so much weight just in my stomach only and I’m always bloated on top of that. As the day goes on my stomach gets worse and more bloated. I hate to leave my house because people are always coming up to me asking me how far along I am. That is just what any girl wants to hear right? Is someone who thinks she’s pregnant. At first, I didn’t think that it was the Lyrica. I thought that I was just 36 my body is changing I’ve had four kids I’m no longer that skinny girl I’ve always been my whole life. I started working out and making sure I eat healthily and I wouldn’t lose a pound. I’ve worked out so hard and so much that I literally have hurt the inside of my ankle bone. (I have RA so that makes my ankle issue worse) My cousin is getting married in June and I refuse to go looking like I’m pregnant. Especially considering the wedding is at night when my stomach sticks out the worse. I want to stop the medication completely. I’ve been on this medication for six years also so I know that the withdrawals are going to be hell. I’ve been wondering if I took one dose of the Lyrica going from 600mg to 300mg a day if I could still lose the bloating and stomach weight? Or does the stomach weight and bloating only go away once you’ve stopped Lyrica altogether?

    • Kim
      Pleasant hill CA

      I wasn’t on a big dose of lyrica at night, only 100 mg but my experience with my weight and where I gained it was exactly like yours! A few months ago I suspected that and went off it cold turkey but I was incredibly dizzy and at times couldn’t even stand up straight, so I went back on it reluctantly, I wasn’t off long enough to notice a difference on my weight. Now though a nurse practitioner told me to wean off slower so I went down to only 50 at night for a week and the last two nights it has been 25mg. I have lost 14pounds too after gaining over 55 pounds on the lyrica over not even two years! My dizziness just started coming back yesterday and it’s annoying and kind of scary but I am never going back up on this evil drug! I hope to be weaned off completely in a week or so

    • Susan

      I have been on Lyrica, 300mg 2x/day for several years for nerve pain after ruptured discs and back surgery. I have gained weight and have some dizziness with it. Weaning attempts did not work because I would get so anxious and upset. This last weaning has been going much better. I have decreased by 50mg for a whole month at a time, a very slow wean. At the moment I am on 250mg in the morning and 200mg at night. At the end of June I will decrease my morning dose to w00mg. Then at the end of July will be on 150mg for my second dose, and so on. I am so happy that it finally seems to be working. So just go very slowly.

    • Shell

      To Steph:
      Lyrica is a horrible horrible drug. Doctors are NOT going to advise you on the life-altering side affects when weaning off this drug. Having said that I personally think 600mg to 300 mg is too drastic a drop, especially at that high dose and for as long as you have been on it. I do in fact believe the weight will come off fast with any type of taper (it did for me also) but what will happen is your body will reject what you are trying to do to it. So you may have weight loss but you will in turn receive many many side affects that may keep you from being able to leave the house. Sorry to be so blunt but it is true. Please wean off with a doctor’s supervison at a slower pace. Otherwise find an outpatient program that will help you go through the detox process without having to flip your life upside down.

      God bless you!

  16. Deb

    I have been on Lyrica for 3 years now, 125 x 3 times a day. I feel like I am living somewhere beyond hell. It started after my doc withdrew me to quickly off 5 mg of Diazepam which I had been on for years. I was diagnoised with Fibromyalgia to my surprise and the Diazepam was mostly controlling it. Long story short, I ended up with Atypical Facial Pain which is intense electricity going through my right eye, down my nose to my upper lip and down to the right of my mouth. This is also called the suicide disease, very appropriate…you want to tear your face off because the pain is unbearalbe. First time in my life I have ever considered suicide for relief. So in comes the Lyrica. omg…..I was so dizzy, my eyes are so blurring I can’t see straight, extreme pain in the palms of my hands and feet, my whole body is on fire like walking out of a fire pit, my eyeballs are the same, they are so distressed I want to sit and cry. I tremble inside day in and out so I am beyond exhausted. Depression from trying to deal with the physical discomfort as well as basically losing my whole life. I can’t walk far, bike, do yoga, read, function. I feel confused, severe memory loss and very sore hands. My lungs are full of fluid and my eyes have water bags all around them. I look in the mirror and want to cry. I have severe stomach issues which I never had before. The list just goes on. My new doc wants me off the drug and I do too….but I am terrified of the withdrawal, any suggestions or comments greatly appreciated. I am see a Facial surgeon who thinks he can fix the compression on the Trigeminal Nerve which happened in the Diazepam episode…Irresponsible doctor then, left me in withdrawal for 7 months, I didn’t know what was happening to me. But I was on the couch for a year from that and have never recovered. Searching desperately for anyone with similar story or advice

    • Kate

      Hi. I have the same problem. I have gone down in dose and have not lost any weight. But everybody is different. It may work well for you and i hope it does. Good luck

  17. Venus
    Sacramento ca

    I have been taking this lyrica for less than a year I missed a dosage yesterday and last nite my feet went crazy pins and needles buzzing aching so severe omg! First thing I thought about was my diabetes but then lyrica came to mind I looked it up and omg that was the issue I can’t take it my overall body is acting up I feel like a dope pheen!! Need advice help me!

  18. Nan
    Shenandoah Valley, VA

    I’m reading the experiences of people who have taken Lyrica. They are mostly not good. Having taken a dosage of 300 mg. daily for years, I have not had the problems that others have reported. It has been a life-saver for the pain I was experiencing, and I have never felt high, gained weight or felt that I was addicted. I do take other meds too. Once when my phone-in prescription was overlooked, and I ran out, I did have terrible withdrawals effects: restless legs, anxiety and sleeplessness. I would not rule out trying this drug for fibromyalgia, If I was in chronic pain. I still experience bad leg pain, and other pain, but before I had pain in my entire body and even in my cheekbones. Drugs affect people differently. I don’t feel that lyrica is a bad drug.

  19. Cindy

    OMG!!! I was on Lyrica 50-75mg that the dr. wanted me to take three times a day. I gained 15 pounds in one month’s time. Now, I have belly pain in addition to chronic pain. I hope 6 month’s will not damage my heart and lungs. I stopped it cold turkey and the withdrawal is aweful!!!

  20. Michael

    I am a 41 year old male. When I was 24, I was jumped by five individuals with a bat. It shattered my tmj. Since then, I suffer from chronic facial nerve damage and depression. Literally, I have tried everything under the sun. It seems the only drug to reduce the pain is Percocet which I have never abused. Knowing what legislation is trying to do from the irresponsible people abusing it, I gave in about a year ago and started to take Lyrica and Cymbalta for the pain and depression. I went from 182 to 210 lbs in a year.

    Recently, I decided to do some research as my doctor increased my Lyrica from 50 to 75 to 150mg and my Cymbalta to 60mg both twice a day. Back in 2015, I turned down Cymbalta. Now, I know why lol. I decided to do some research and found some negative literature on both. I tried to quit cold turkey, and I am having cold chills at night; crazy dreams; dizziness; very depressed; trouble concentrating; and low work productivity. It has helped with the pain, but there is no way I can take these meds forever. I’d rather take a pain pill in the morning, and man up. I tried to suck it up, but this is bad. Also, I don’t think it even helps the depression. I just want to get off this stuff and return to normal. Please help…

  21. Inci

    4 years ago my GP put me on Lyrica 75mg/nightly because the nerve pain in my feet was keeping me awake at nights. For a few months it seemed to be working. However, the nerve pain came back again and the GP increased it to 150mg/nightly. This should be a red flag to indicate that this drug was addictive. Also, I was never told about the side effects of the drug. I was experiencing weight gain for no reason, dizziness and loss of balance, itches all over my body and incontinence day or night. As I am in my seventies, I took the problems as the blessings! of old age.

    2 years ago I suffered from a persistent cough that would not go away. A chest X-Ray showed water in my lungs, that also caused an infection and my heart had grown trying desperately to pump out the excess fluid. My GP said that I had fluid retention problem, which should have been told me as another serious side effect of Lyrica. I was put on Lasix, to get rid of the fluid in my system, as well as antibiotics to kill the infection.

    Anyway, finally about 2 weeks ago I was going overseas and I had terrible swelling on my feet. I went to my GP and he told me that this was fluid retention, again. As I would be flying for 14 hours, I was extremely worried. A frantic research by myself spotted the culprit for the various problems I was having for 4 years. In my fury, I put all the Lyrica tablets in the bin and decided to confront my doctor on my return to Australia.

    Needles to say, I suffered from withdrawal symptoms that ensued, by going cold turkey. But everything is already getting better, as well as the nerve pain, without Lyrica.

    Stay away from this addictive drug that can cause damage to your heart and lungs.

    • Christopher j

      My doctor put me on Pregabalin 150mg twice a day. I was in a fog so I just stopped taking the Pregabalin cold turkey. I did however replacing it with Gapapentin. The rule of thumb is 6× the dose. I took 300mg of Lyrics a day. I replaced it with.1800 mg of Gapapentin per day. 900 in a:m and 900 at bedtime. It has been one week today and I am doing okay. I did and sometimes still get anxiety attacks but they have been tolerable. I would of had a hard time without the Gabapentin. My pain is worse but that’s just what I have to deal with. Good luck.

  22. john

    Don’t start lyrica! It’s the most addictive substance on the planet. john

  23. Mike

    My pain management doc put me on Lyrica, 100mg x 2, for chronic migraines. Or because he had a “thing” with his drug rep and over-prescribed it. Anyway, while I’m not sure it helped with the headaches, since I also have regular old migraine meds, it did get me unexpectedly high sometimes. It seems like certain foods interact with it, and suddenly you’re drunk. Slurred speech, delayed motor skills (forget about typing), feeling of extreme well being. Honestly, any medication that does that needs to be viewed with suspicion.

    After ten years I dropped to 50mg x 2 and was no longer getting buzzed with it. Then last week my ‘scrip ran out, and I decided to leave it that way. So far some nausea, mild headache, a little unexplained anxiousness. Not intolerable.

    I would say that if your choice is between Lyrica and chronic, debilitating pain, take the Lyrica but the lowest possible dose. I think if you’re feeling “high” there’s more of it in your system than is needed to calm the nerve pain. If you’ve been prescribed it off-label for another reason, I’d bite the bullet and come off of it entirely. After some short term discomfort you’ll gain your old personality and energy level back, and lose some weight. Win/win!

    • Lisa

      I second that emotion. I have only been taking Lyrica a number of days. I absolutely couldn’t function taking this drug, it was like I was drunk and a mean drunk, so my dr and I thought I should stop taking it. I thought it would be no big deal since I’ve only taken it for just a few days. But OMG… The withdrawal symptoms have been brutal. Already. I had to call in sick to work yesterday and I was forced to take the Lyrica because of my body’s reaction to the withdrawal. Today I’ve laid in bed all morning, day and night, had to call in sick to work today, too. I already have someone working for me tomorrow.
      If you don’t have to take this drug don’t do it. Run don’t walk. I wish this on no one.

    • Dian
      Las Cruces

      While Lyrica can lead to dependency, it’s certainly not, “the most addictive substance on the planet.” I mean, I’m not arguing with you, perhaps it’s been your experience. From my perspective, Lyrica helps with nerve pain, but it’s a double edge sword, in that it contributes to steady weight gain, and an overall decline in physical wellness. I think we both can agree that if it’s worth considering other medicinal treatments, and avoiding this particular drug! I hope you are all on the mend!

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